Saving, investing and making money with technology

Tag: personal finance

How to Quickly Start Your Real Estate Business?

As you are getting started with your real estate business, it is vital that your strategies will help you make money. You need to have sufficient cash in the bank for your real estate business to thrive.

When you are starting a real estate business, you have to develop your business from scratch. You may still need the guidance and support of the real estate experts. The determination and self-control have to come from you.

You should also remember that every walk-in is possible compensation. Do not turn your nose up at any kind of possibility as you would surely regret it. One of the biggest mistakes you must never make when you are still starting out is to ignore a person with filthy and broken clothes. That person might be a proprietor of a local garbage hauling business.

What are the Other Strategies to Consider to Get Your Real Estate Business Started Quickly?

Pass the Broker’s Exam

Before you can become a qualified real estate agent or start your real estate business, you need to pass the broker’s test required by your state. If you become a qualified broker, you canopen your own practice. From there, you are licensed to hire other real estate agents to work for you. You can start your own agency and gather commission from your agents who are working for you.

Locate Cash Investors

All-cash investors who are actively purchasing properties are your best deal to make quick cash. These investors are well-informed and undaunted. Even though some investors could give you reduced deals that are tough to get approved, their capacity to gather cash will give the seller the assurance of not needing to wait for a bank to accept the loan. It could give you the closing table faster. It suggests that you make money.

To bring in these capitalists, you might have to bring them a benefit. One instance is to offer them properties that no one knew yet. If there are off-market properties to reveal them, it could be a means to attract them in.

Consider Fix and Flip It

If you thought about getting a house, repairing it up and then marketing it, this strategy is known as flipping. Numerous real estate agents rely on house flipping or assisting customers to flip their houses to create an extra income stream.

Do not believe what some TV shows are showing you that you can make $100,000 when you flip a house. Keep in mind that it is rare to earn that much through this method. The actual cash is not flourishing with one flip. Instead, you can make a lot of cash as you flip several properties.

There a great deal of danger associated with flipping houses. For this technique to work, you have to purchase a house listed below market price and you have to know how to precisely approximate the price of fixings. Experience will help you out.

The foreclosure market is one excellent place to discover houses that you could flip. There are sites that can help you look for foreclosure houses. Obviously, it could be an open market depending on where you reside.

Prior to purchasing a property, ensure that you understand the “After Repair Value.” You will most likely have to get the help of a real estate agent to know more about it. However, you could have an initial idea by taking a look at the current sales worth of houses in the same community.

You do not need to fix the house, as well. You could purchase wholesale cost and afterward, offer it as swiftly as possible. You could make approximately $5,000 each offer, with hardly any effort and work.

Work an Open Home

It is a matter of argument whether or not open houses are beneficial when selling listings in the market. What is not disputed is that they could be a great place to fulfill potential customers.

For example, if you want to deal with the apartments for rent with utilities, find out if an agent will allow you to assist in working his open house. If he will, you can meet any client that comes through the door. If he is not currently dealing with somebody, you could take him as your customer and offer him mutual cooperation. Even though not all the attendees fo the open houses are the determined customers, they have the intention of purchasing or renting.

Produce Leads Through Direct Mailers

It is a traditional approach that still works equally well today, particularly if you focus on your preferred target audience. It returns the same ROI as social networking marketing.

Direct mail marketing surpasses any digital networks. It is also competitive as regards to cost-per-acquisition. But not all straight marketing is created equal. The layout can play a huge function when it involves reaction rate.

The only drawback to this method is how challenging it is to monitor where leads are originating from. It is also tough to track where they see your ads the first time. The good thing is that there are ways to monitor direct mail. It could take a bit of effort but it is worth it. However, fewer companies are utilizing it to target their clients. It implies there is a chance for you to attract attention and get hold of your potential client’s interest right from the beginning.

Make Use of Your Connections

Another way to help you get started quickly with your real estate business is to use your connections. Your business is still brand new. Thus, you cannot rely on past customers to assist you in earning a living.

However, you can make use of individuals that you currently know as your source opportunity. Working your network to find out if any individual you know is considering offering or if any individual you recognize knows of a person who is prepared to negotiate. You could use that link into a fairly fast paycheck.

Conclusion

These strategies may or may not work for you. However, they give you an idea of how you could start your real estate business quickly.

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Investors Win Big In GDPR-Era

In light of recent changes to data regulations, 60% of respondents said GDPR has significantly changed their organizations’ workflows for collecting, using, and protecting personal information. While investors, startups and established tech companies alike are having to adjust to the new world created by the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation, they shouldn’t necessarily be worried about the changes. Investors, especially, are seeing increasing shifts in the amount of power they now have when investing in companies that have taken to implement these changes in a swift manner.

How GDPR Changes Tech

The GDPR requires companies to clearly outline where consumer data will be used and also ensures that the data will not be used for inappropriate purposes. The difficulties that are being reported have been in regards to the fact that GDPR still contains many uncertainties, making it difficult for investors and companies alike to understand whether one is considered non-compliant. The biggest blow to the tech industry has been the imposed sanctions that companies are seeing, as regulators are able to either issue warnings or simply permanently ban non-compliant potential investors. This change particularly affects marketers, with some companies are already beginning to close their European operations due to the fact that the regulatory environment is not favorable to certain business models.

Changing the Way Investors Invest

Investors who haven’t done so already should inspect their current and future investment portfolios for GDPR compliance, as failure to comply could impact their financial gains. To avoid costly fines and embarrassing sanctions, investors have begun to ask in-depth GDPR-related questions as part of the investment process, leading smaller tech companies and startups to scramble in order to meet requirements. As a component of this change, investors have also begun to assess the impact of GDPR on customer behavior in regards to how it will affect the viability of a potential business model.

Emerging Benefits of Data Protection

In a survey conducted to assess the reception of GDPR, 61% of respondents said they believe that GDPR has its benefits beyond just implementation. Of those, 21% expected significant benefits, including competitive advantage, improved reputation, and business enablement. As more and more companies begin to adapt marketing strategies, workflows and general business practices, they will begin to view the regulations in a more positive light that will allow them to attract top investors who are interested in investing in a compliant company that will withstand the test of time.

Investors Don’t Need to Worry

As GDPR becomes more and more understood in the world of tech, companies and the people investing in them will either adapt to current data requirements in order to be compliant or find creative, legal ways to outsource their data. While it might seem that investors win big in this situation, companies that work hard to alter their strategies in order to meet compliance regulations will also reap big benefits in the long run, as will their users.

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2018 Supply Chain Management Trends

Introduction

Technology often affects supply chain management structures. One development in the past 10-20 years shaping the way supply chains operate is the increased use of Internet shopping. Will wholesalers and retailers keep up with SCM Changes?

Overview of Supply Chain Management

A supply chain is the path that goods or services travel, which is a journey that supply chain management oversees. For tangible goods, this process usually begins in a factory where items are built and ends with those pieces in customers’ hands. Service SCM often starts at a place of business where customers will have access to help they need, and these customers also might use online or telephone communication to make service requests. Some businesses choose to have an internal team handle SCM, while others hire outside experts.

Latest Trends in SCM

Because of the increase of online shopping, companies now strive to make delivery times as short as possible for as inexpensive as they can. This initiative involves the use of visualized data for tracking orders and shipments. To shorten delivery times, some businesses also have planted factories and warehouses closer to where customers live.

Along with data visualization and localized manufacturing facilities, current SCM practices seem to demand the use of the Perfect Order Index indicator. A company with the best POI is the one who ideally ships all orders on time with no damage or loss occurrences — or at least does ship perfect orders nearly 100 percent of the time.

Artificial intelligence technology including the use of drones, which also can speed up delivery, is another new SCM trend. Automation of purchases and orders works in conjunction with this recent SCM development. In some cases, this includes automated transaction procurement at both the business-to-business and business-to-consumer levels. It may also include automated invoicing along with immediate delivery of payment receipts.

Current SCM trends might seem impersonal to some shoppers. One challenge that both wholesalers and retailers face right now is providing the one-on-one customer service experience many consumers still crave. B2B clients also might still demand VIP, face-to-face service.

Conclusion

Offering the best of both worlds, which includes the efficiency that technology can provide combined with a physical presence near delivery destinations, could bring back the hometown feeling many people remember and miss from their younger days. For instance, local grocery stores delivered milk straight from a nearby farm to homes at least once a week. This took place at least until the early 1980s and is in a way happening again with online ordering being the major difference.

Combining digital order fulfillment technology along with the “mom and pop” feel of local pickup that some customers prefer could put a company ahead of their competitors.

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How an MSME Loan Will Help You Grow Your Small Business

How an MSME Loan Will Help You Grow Your Small Business
Mr. Murari Lal Bansal, a resident of Chandni Chowk, Delhi was an owner of an MSME enterprise. His business was going good for the last 2 years. As his business flourished with time, so the need to expand it and bulk orders from clients also increased.

For leasing out a big space to expand his business operations and to receive bulk orders from clients, he needed a big amount of money of around Rs.20 lakh. Since he had no other sources of money, he thought it would be good to sell his ancestral home, liquidate it and use the funds in the business.

On the other hand, he was also aware that liquidating his ancestral home was not a good idea in the long-run. That’s when one of this friends advised him to avail an MSME loan from a leading lender of up to Rs.30 at lower rate and longer tenor.

If you are an MSME business owner and needing to expand his/her business and for that, if you are thinking to liquidate any of your assets, MSME finance is a good idea.

What is MSME loan?

If you have Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), you may avail an MSME loan from any of the leading online lenders and borrow up to Rs.30 lakh.

These loans are popular amongst small business owners as they are available at lower rates and extended tenor so that you can repay smaller EMIs.

Why an MSME loan is a good idea to give wings to your business?

1) Finance up to Rs.30 lakh

When you can avail up to Rs.30 lakh for your business needs, you can easily focus on your business and take it in the right direction.

2) Flexi loan feature

When you avail an MSME loan from a leading lender, you also get the flexi loan facility in which you can easily borrow an amount as per your needs from the total limit. You can enjoy the benefit of paying just the interest as EMI on the used amount and nothing more. The rest of the money is adjusted at the end of the loan tenor.

3) Faster processing

Since the MSME loan is a collateral free loan facility, you can enjoy a faster processing of the loan which means your loan application is processed within 24 hours. As a result, when your loan is processed fast, you also get the money disbursement quick.

4) Wider tenor to suit your needs

You can focus on your MSME business and not bother about the loan repayment as you can seize a wider tenor ranging from 1 year and 5 years. Hence, you can pay smaller EMIs over a longer tenor and focus on your business and not the repayment.

5) Online account management 

Availing an MSME loan from a reputed lender can let you access the loan information right via the digital customer portal. It lets you track the progress of your loan right from anywhere and 24/7.
MSME loan eligibility

For availing the MSME loan, you will need to fulfil some standard MSME loan eligibility of the lenders such as:

* Applicant should be under 25-55 years

* Your MSME business should have a history of 3 years and more

* You should have filed the Income Tax Return (ITR) on behalf of your business during the last 1 year

The Bottom Line

Don’t think to liquidate your assets or take credit from your relatives when you have an MSME loan to help you cover your entire small business needs. You can apply for the MSME loan online and get started.

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Should Women Invest in Financial Products?

The world of finance and financial products is largely male-dominated. Men are always the ones to keep track of the money and plan household finances. They make all the financial decisions for their own lives and often are in charge of the money earned by the women in their lives as well. Thanks to this, there is a gap, both in investment and knowledge about personal finance between men and women. Not surprisingly, there are more male financial advisors than females.

Business team discussing project with man pointing at the laptop

However, this gap can easily be reduced if women were to step up and take charge of their own finances, instead of relying on their fathers and husbands to do so. As a woman, all you have to do is ask questions and educate yourselves on the various products available in the market, and learn about the nuances of the available investment options for women.

You can also hire a professional financial advisor to help you out with your investment if required. An advisor would be able to help you see the big picture and build a diversified investment portfolio to meet your financial goals.

Why women should invest in financial products?

Here are a few good reasons why women should invest in financial products:

1. To build an emergency corpus

It is important for women to create a corpus for emergencies. Ideally, this amount should be equal to 6 months of your family’s expenses. A good way to create this corpus is for you to save a part of your salary and invest it in fixed income investments, like FDs for women. These provide guaranteed returns, as they are not associated with the market performance.

Therefore, with FDs, there is no risk of losing your money. For instance, Bajaj Finance Fixed Deposit is a great FD option, that comes with high-interest rates of over 8% and flexible tenors ranging from 12 to 60 months. An FD calculator will tell you the returns you will get.

2. To be retirement ready

Women generally live longer than men. So, it is important that they take their retirement finances seriously. Investing in a retirement plan/systematic investment plan (SIP)/mutual funds when young, helps create a huge corpus by the time you retire. FDs for women is a wise option since they lock away a part of your money for a specific tenor. Moreover, FDs offer periodic interest returns according to your choice (quarterly, half-yearly, or annually), that can act as an alternate source of income. What’s more, you can invest in FDs as a senior citizen as well. In fact, FDs come with loads of benefits for senior citizens. Not only do they offer higher interest rates, but also offer greater tax exemption.

3. To meet all their financial goals

Women are equal participants in the family, and as your life stage changes, there are bound to be financial goals that you may want to meet. You will want to pay for your dream home, your children’s education, secure your retirement, or maybe just travel abroad.

Whatever your goal, it is important that you have a financial plan in order to fulfill that ambition. Investing in relevant financial instruments will help you build the desired corpus to address short and long-term goals.

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3 Saving Tips for New Employees

Your first job is going to be hard for a lot of reasons. You’ve probably just spent the last few years taking it relatively easy in college and now things are about to change.

You’re going to find yourself in an entirely new environment, with new people and a ton of responsibilities you’ve never had to even think about before.

And while all of this is pretty scary, you’re probably looking forward to the money. A steady paycheck, probably the biggest one you’ve ever had in your life.

Unfortunately though, it’s not quite that simple. If you’re not careful, money can disappear just as fast as you earn it. And that can be disastrous for you.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t take the opportunity to indulge in some stuff now that you can afford it, but saving is important too. Here’s 3 things you can do to help save some cash:

1. Sell The Stuff You Don’t Need

If you take a bit of a look around your home, you’ll probably realize that there’s quite a few things there that you almost definitely don’t use anymore.

We are always buying stuff that we just don’t need. Fancy China you bought for that one dinner party you were throwing.

A pile of tools you bought during that one week when you thought you might try your hand at DIY but are now just taking up space in your garage.

These are merely examples but I’m sure you get the idea, we all have some stuff that we’re probably never going to use.

But the great thing about it is this, all of that stuff is probably still in pretty good condition. A lot of it might very well be as good as new.

You’re not going to use it, but someone else probably will. And in 2018 you don’t even have to host a yard sale to sell all of this stuff, you can just do it online.

Places like Craigslist and eBay might not be quite as popular as they were five or six years ago, but they’re still in operation and there’s actually quite a few other places you can sell online too.

And even stuff that you have used but don’t really want anymore, there’s a market for that too. If most of your income goes fast, selling what you don’t need is a great way to bring in more cash.

2. Invest

This is not just a great way to save right now, investing is something you can do now that you will thank yourself for several years down the line.

You have to do it the right way though. So many people throw tons of money into investments and end up getting nothing out of it.

If you want it to work out, you have to know where to invest and where to absolutely avoid investing. It will take a bit of research.

It’s well worth it though, taking a portion of your income every single month and investing it in some reliable companies will ensure that you see some serious long-term returns.

So what you need to do is find out which companies have a proven track-record of a high return on investment (ROI) for those that invest.

The history and the statistics don’t lie. You can’t ever be guaranteed success but trying to predict the market yourself is never going to work.

Invest in the right places and be patient with the results. If you’re concerned about giving away some money every month into this venture, then you can always look out for dividends.

Look for high dividend yielding stocks. These companies offer a portion of the overall profit to those who invest, guaranteeing you some income for your investment.

It might not seem like it’s worth it at the beginning, but if you stick by the stocks you choose, you’ll see the benefit before too long.

3. Look Out for Discounts

You probably think that you’re not entitled to any discounts, but you’d be surprised. There’s an awful lot of things out there that people get discounts for.

There’s the very obvious ones first of all. If you’re a teacher or your in the military you’re almost guaranteed to get discounts from somewhere.

There’s also student discounts of course, which often apply even if you’re doing some kind of company sponsored training. So don’t assume you can’t get that one.

And if you aren’t entitled to any of those, that still doesn’t mean that there aren’t any discounts out there available to you.

Anything else that you would get would probably be related to your specific job. Check with your employer to see if your position allows for you to pay less for certain things.

You could also probably ask anywhere you eat or shop if they have discounts on offer and if they apply to you. It never hurts to ask!

The coupon industry isn’t dead either. In fact, in the age of the internet, is more of an evolved industry than an obsolete one.

So there’s a lot of discounts out there and you should definitely keep your eyes open. You never know which ones you’re applicable for.

Conclusion

No matter how much you’re tempted to go crazy with the new income that you’ve got, it’s really best to start saving as soon as you start earning.

And as you can see here, there’s a lot of ways to save that are actually relatively painless.

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Easy Ways to Lower Your Internet Bills!

Different internet service providers are charging high bills these days – whether you are searching for smooth internet or robust connectivity, the costs are high. However, there still exist such providers who save you a considerable amount of money. Lots of people falsely think that if you want the best service, you will have to spend the tremendous amount of money. That’s not true. If you plan out everything and adopt specific strategies, you’ll be able to lower your monthly expenses in your budget. If you start off randomly, then that will make things hard for you, and you will end up subscribing to expensive broadband. You need to follow the specific guidelines to save your money.

Categorization Your Available Options: Firstly, discover what types of the internet is accessible in your area. It could be Cable, DSL or Satellite. Next, you need to find out all about the internet that different ISPs offer. For example, Viasat gives you DSL internet; charter provides with cable internet and Century link proposes Satellite internet. The third step is to find out the detailed info on every single ISP.

Digging Deep into Various ISPs: You can look into further details of what a particular ISP offer. For this, you need to visit the official blogs and online sites to gather all the information. There are numerous ways you can do it like contacting the supplier via a direct call, or text messaging and sending an email. Check out what sort of ISP people are using in your neighborhood. Ask them to share their experience, if they are content with their current providers or not. Read reviews online to get a grasp of accurate info regarding a specific service.


Analyze the Merits & Demerits: Detect the quality, stability, durability, and longevity of the internet. Find out the soundness, and robustness. Uncover the hidden drawbacks and snags of all ISPs. Probe if it can fulfill your demands of business internet usage or not. After you distinguish between ISPs, single out the one you find the best, and that ticks all the right corners.

Compare the Pricing: Know the prices of the internet plans by various internet providers. You need to complete your homework if you want to see the desired results. Juxtapose the costs by using comparison tools or apps available on the web or play store. Check out the monthly expenses on the providers’ website.

Latest Promotions & Deals: Often internet providers offer promotions for the specific period, in which they offer all of their services at quite an affordable price. You can get a half or a full year discount on your bills. If you get successful in convincing them, then you receive more discounts.

Bundles & Packages: Often internet donors bring forth the packages which offer numerous free services. Charter Spectrum Internet Bundles is one such example – it’ll give you voice as well as TV. Not only that you get a free modem, cost-free Wi-Fi, free installation, free Digital video recorder and a lot more free services.

New Subscriber Advantages: Diverse suppliers like Comcast, Verizon, Mediacom, AT&T, and Charter bring forward exclusive bonuses for the new customers. Search for such services and don’t hesitate to switch over to the provider, offering you each possible discount.

Buy up a Modem: After you subscribe to a particular ISP, they provide you with a modem or a wireless router. The router isn’t always for free, and most of the time you are renting it. The Providers add up modem charge like $5 to $10 in your bills every month. Therefore, if you want to preserve your money, instead of leasing a modem from the companies either purchase out the equipment or find the provider that offers a free router. You will be able to save lots of dollars this way.

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Thinking of long-term investments? Here is how you should proceed

Investments are an excellent way to save and make money. Whether it is investing in gold and real estate or venturing into equity or passion investments, the various methods require one to bear the market risks as he or she awaits a healthy return on investment. One caution many would recommend against the risks the market poses is to invest long-term so that your capital can bear out any fluctuations and post growth over a period.

If you too are considering long-term investments, here are some tips on how to proceed to ensure the best returns:

Research

Smart investment requires in-depth analysis. One needs to be aware of the company’s promising products and strategies. Various comparison websites and other online resources help people understand and analyze investments today. If going for a unit trust or a mutual fund, it is also advisable to look at the fund’s performance over the past few years and check the management fee as well.

Diversify

No matter how brilliant a single option seems, diversifying your capital is of utmost importance – be it through the stock market, bonds, mutual funds, or any other instruments. As a general rule, it is advisable not to invest more than 10% of your portfolio in a single instrument. Diversifying provides the investor protection against a collapse in any particular sector over a long duration of time.

Maintain a balanced portfolio

Every investor wants to stay in the market with minimal risks, and the key to moderate risk appetite is a balanced portfolio. Help your investments generate a decent CAGR with a healthy mix of small-cap, midcap, multi-cap, and large-cap. Take higher risks during the initial years to create a suitable initial corpus and compounding returns can be enjoyed towards the later years.

Do not hurry

Perhaps the most crucial piece of advice for a long-term investor is to take the long view. Trading frequently is a no since the commission is bound to eat into one’s funds. It is equally necessary not to follow the trends and fads and diversify in a smart, sensible way. A lot of investors panic when the market occasionally crashes, but over the years, it is bound to crash some time or the other. Rather than the time to take preventive measures, consider a crash as a buying opportunity.

While age-old investment methods like fixed deposits are still in high demand because of the safety net they provide and some schemes like Bajaj Finance Fixed Deposit also provide a high FD interest rate of 8.40%, with additional rates of interest for senior citizens. You can use the online Fixed Deposit Interest Calculator to check how much you can gain by investing in an FD.

So, while fixed deposits are indeed the way to go for those unwilling to take any risks, people who can afford to stay in the market should go for the other available options. The longer you invest for, the more protected you are against market fluctuations and the higher returns you can enjoy.

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Skills You Must Learn In Order To Save Money

Even though most people who work to earn their living have a clear idea about what they are going to do with their earnings, a majority of them fail in one aspect – savings. Yes, there is that dream amount of monthly savings but so often people fail to meet that goal and end up blaming it on various reasons. Just like earning money requires skills, so does saving money. It is a smart tactic which most affluent people practice without having to come off as a cheapskate. All it takes is some discipline and some skills which anyone can hone with time and patience. Here are some of them.

Hunting for deals

One of the most significant monetary skills you can learn is the cleverness of deal hunting. Not to be mistaken by the occasional browsing of clearance racks at preferred clothing stores, hunting for deals requires a nose for good deals and the experience of an investor. It requires a person to have his eyes and ears open at all times. A small property opening at a sector which offers 30% growth in ten years – tie it down. A noted supermarket conducts fire sales at a certain time of the year – make sure all shopping activities are arranged keeping in mind the annual date of the sale. All of these small factors could not only help a person to save extraordinary amounts on a regular basis, they also get to maintain a healthy level of lifestyle by paying less.

Self management of financial tasks

Learning to manage ones’ finances sensibly helps in saving a lot of money. It can help a person to avoid paying excessive interest on credit cards, dodge needless bank charges and save on other expenses. Learning to comprehend legal or fiscal papers can help people determine whether or not they are taking the finest contract on their mortgage or selecting the top checking account. In order to start becoming a self-manager of person finances, here are the first steps everyone must take –

* Recite the fine print for every bank account. Double check to find a better option at the bank.

* Balance all bank accounts on a regular basis.

* When taking a loan, make sure that only the best offer on the market is getting selected.

Making a budget

A personalized budget can easily be created using the programming language C#. For better insight, you can visit portals like Csharp-Station.Com – a community website for ambitious people willing to make their customized applications. Once the users are able to master functions such as how to execute stored procedure in ASP Net Using C# they can create their own budgets that can be strict and compact.

Learning about investing

Once the savings are on track, every financially ambitious person must sit down with an expert and think about multiplying his savings. Investing is a skill set that is most important for anyone looking to make it big in the modern market.

By developing these skills, anyone can become smarter and wealthier. These skills can be mastered with a little bit of effort, and the rewards can be lost lasting.

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12 Quick Tips to Cut Down Your Monthly Budget

If you want to save money, pay attention to how you’re spending it. Little luxuries like a latte every morning add up fast. But if you’ve been pinching pennies for a while and feel like you’re getting nowhere, it may be time to reevaluate your priorities. These tips provide specific steps you can take to reduce your bills and trim the fat from your monthly budget without scrimping on the good stuff.

1. Plan your meals

After a busy day, the last thing you want to do is more work in the kitchen. But if you plan for quick and easy weeknight meals, making dinner doesn’t have to be a chore. Avoid the take-out trap by prepping your breakfast or lunches for the week, and watch those few dollars a day add up to significant savings over the course of a month. Once you’ve planned your meals for the week, craft a grocery shopping list to keep you on track when you’re cruising the aisles. Also, remember that grocery shopping hungry is a recipe for disaster.

2. Cut the cord

Look carefully at the cost of cable or satellite TV and decide if it’s worth it for your household. Most of the time, you can catch your favorite shows with subscriptions to streaming services like Sling TV or Hulu. Not sure if cutting the cord makes sense for you? This cord-cutting tool will let you select which channels you can’t live without and recommend a streaming package that fits your viewing priorities. Cutting the cord may save you up to $100 per month, so it’s worth a shot.

3. Energy savings add up

Every penny counts, and that’s especially true of energy consumption. You may not realize it, but with a few minor tweaks and changes, you could increase your energy efficiency and save hundreds of dollars per year. An excellent place to start is the Energy Saver Guide published by the Department of Energy. It’s full of tips to help you save money at home, including how to conduct an energy audit, weatherize your home, and choose energy efficient appliances.

4. Plan for big purchases

Need a new car or plan to go back to school this year? Work those big purchases into your monthly budget as smaller line items so when it comes time to pay the bills, you’ll have enough set aside to cover the costs. This system works well even for luxuries and can help you appreciate the effort it takes to afford these items rather than feeling guilty about splurging.

5. Take advantage of discount days

Just because you’re trying to save money doesn’t mean you have to scrimp on the fun. Look for coupons for local activities and entertainment or catch an afternoon matinee to see the latest blockbuster. You can also check out local attractions during free museum day or check online to schedule your next visit for a discount day.

6. Play it safe and stay in

Partying it up at home has lots of hidden benefits, including not having to call an Uber at the end of the night. Offer to play host and have your friends congregate at your place for a potluck dinner party or take turns having a weekly cocktail hour. If you have a large group of friends willing to chip in, you’ll get a change of scenery along with your savings.

7. Clean house

This tip applies to more than just tidying up. Go through closets and cupboards looking for things you don’t use anymore. Sell high-priced items in your local classifieds and have a garage sale to generate a little extra cash flow. And if you send things to a local nonprofit, remember to get a receipt. Those donations may be tax deductible.

8. Get it on loan from the library

You’ll be shocked by what you can get on loan from the library these days. In addition to books, music, and movies, you may be able to check out toys, games, tools, and even telescopes. Also, remember that libraries offer community classes on lots of topics from auto repair to computers to financial advice.

9. Give of yourself

Before you go out and buy a last-minute birthday gift, think about what that person in your life would truly appreciate. Volunteer together at their favorite charity, spend a day picnicking at a local park, or craft something truly one-of-a-kind. Often, you’ll discover that giving your time and attention is a much better way to show your love than any gift money could buy.

10. Repurpose, reuse, and recycle

Buying used is an attractive option if you’re looking for a bargain, and it’s also a way to cut down on waste. Shop thrift stores for clothing and furniture, and consider refurbishing electronics instead of forking out extra dough for the latest technology. That old iPhone may work just fine with a new battery and a little TLC.

11. Look into lowering your monthly bills

Car payments, student loans, and insurance bills can be expensive and may be the largest line items on your monthly budget. Do your research online and work the phones to see if you can find yourself a better deal that will lower your monthly payment. While cutting corners on expenses may add up over time, reducing these bills is the easiest way to get more bang for your budgeting buck.

12. Schedule time for finances

Last but certainly not least is scheduling the time to work on your finances monthly. If saving money is a priority for your household, set aside time to evaluate your spending, draft a budget, and invest wisely. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.

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